Happy Oscar Day

It’s here! The Oscars, the 90th Academy Awards. The Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, California is full of excitement and anticipation, and people who love what they do.

My heart is full too. This is one of my favorite nights of the year. Truly. No one has to understand it. It is enough that I know it and enjoy this award show. Movies have had a huge impact on my life. From attending 10¢ matinees as a child, to discerning deeper messages within the stories as an adult, to finding personal symbolism and meaning for my life from films, this industry is important to me. It has been Happy Oscar Day for me all day. I’ve had fun whispering the words aloud to people, just for the sheer delight of expressing joy over this “holiday”.

Happy Oscar Day

I am blogging tonight as the Oscars unfold, making full use of commercial breaks. I have a pot of thyme, fennel seed and lemon balm tea. I have veggie rolls for dinner and an assortment of healthy snacks. And…here we go!

Jimmy Kimmel is hosting for the second time, after a successful show in 2017. He immediately addresses last year’s major goof…the mixup that resulted in the wrong winner being announced for Best Picture. And he gives voice to the movements against sexual harassment that are changing Hollywood and creating safer environments for women and men…#timesup, #metoo and #neveragain.

It’s a historical show. A record setting 40 women are among the nominees tonight. The youngest and oldest ever nominees are up for awards. And tonight is the 90th anniversary. Old movie clips are part of the show. Legendary actors, such as Eva Marie Saint, are presenting. So many amazing memories for me. I love it.

The first award is for Best Actor in a Supporting Role. Although Christopher Plummer would break a record by winning this Oscar, the competition is fierce. And the winner is…Sam Rockwell, for an outstanding performance in Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri. I agree with this choice.

Thunderstorms are rolling through my area. I lost electricity and tv signal for a short time. Thankfully, both came back on in a few minutes, just in time for the Best Actress in a Supporting Role award. I have not seen Mudbound or I, Tonya. Both are on my “must watch” list. I’ve picked Allison Janney for this Oscar, based on the few clips I have seen. And the winner is…Allison Janney, for her performance in I, Tonya.

Best Animated Feature Film award goes to…Coco. This is another movie on my watch list. Three of the five nominated songs have been performed. They are all beautiful. I’m looking forward to This is Me, which will be sung by Keala Settle. I’m hoping the power and tv signal stays with me! The storms are moving eastward and away.

Host Jimmy Kimmel takes a group of actors and director Guillermo del Toro to the Chinese Theater across the street, where attendees are catching a sneak peek of A Wrinkle in Time, to say “Thank You!” to the movie goers. Without people watching the films, there would be no Academy Awards. They hand out candy and hotdogs to the shocked attendees. The audience explodes with screams and cheers. I smile over this, and suddenly I tear up. I feel thanked as well, for my years of movie viewing.

Two tough categories tonight were Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Original Screenplay. The nominees all created powerful stories. Winners were James Ivory, Call Me By Your Name – Adapted Screenplay, and Jordan Peele, Get Out – Original Screenplay.

There were five powerful performances tonight, for Best Original Song. Keala Settle was phenomenal, singing my favorite, This is Me. Remember Me, from the animated film Coco won the award. I cheered for This is Me, however, I appreciated all of the songs. Coco goes on my watch list.

We are down to the final categories.

So many great films, and directors. Greta is the only woman nominated for directing. And the winner goes to…Guillermo del Toro for Shape of Water. It’s his first Oscar. I love this film. Guillermo is well known for his monster movies. I am excited for him, for his win.

This is another competitive category. Strong performances by each actor makes a decision difficult. I can list reasons why each one should take home the Oscar. I am hoping Timothée Chalamet wins his first award. On my ballot, however, I picked Gary Oldman for his portrayal of Winston Churchill. And the winner is…Gary Oldman, Darkest Hour. It’s Gary’s first Oscar, and well deserved.

More riveting performances, by such talented women. I am torn between Frances McDormand, Sally Hawkins and Saoirse Ronan. I selected Frances but I will applaud any of these fine actresses. The Oscar goes to…Frances McDormand, for her role in Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri. Frances has all the nominated women stand, in every category, and that is an impressive sight. “We all have stories to tell!” she enthuses. Yes!

We are to the final award. Others may snort, but to me, the evening has gone by so fast! I chose Shape of Water as my top pick for Best Picture. However, I appreciate each movie and cannot feel disappointment, no matter what the outcome. It’s a big moment! And the winner of Best Picture is… … … Shape of Water! I whoop. I laugh. I tear up. I do love this film.

Guillermo del Toro gives an emotion filled acceptance speech. He says, “I want to dedicate this, to every young filmmaker, the youth that are showing us how things are done. Really, they are. In every country in the world. Everyone who is dreaming of a parable, of using the genre of fantasy to tell the story about things that are real in the world, you can do it. This is the door. Kick it open and come in.”

What a great Academy Awards. And what a huge difference it made for me, watching all of the Best Picture nominated films before the Oscars. I understood more. I got the references, the jokes, and I felt I had an investment in the outcome. And, I successfully picked all the winners in all the major categories. I think that is a first for me.

My experience changes things. Going forward, I will watch all of the Best Picture nominated films ahead of the show, always, and as many of the other films and documentaries as I can, in all of the categories.

When he accepted the Oscar for Best Director, Guillermo said, “The greatest thing our art does, our industry does, is erase the lines in the sand. We should continue doing that.”

Yes, please continue. And I will continue watching and being moved to erase the lines with you.

Happy Oscar Day